1st xv v Market raesen and Louth 8th April 2017
1st xv v Market raesen and Louth 8th April 2017
1st xv v Lutterworth 1st April 2017
1st xv v Lutterworth 1st April 2017
1st xv v Wellingborough 25th March 2017
1st xv v Wellingborough 25th March 2017
Ivor Prewett
Ivor Prewett
1st v Kettering 11th March 2017
1st v Kettering 11th March 2017
1st xv v Ilkeston 4th March 2016
1st xv v Ilkeston 4th March 2016
Vice Presidents
Vice Presidents
1st xv v Huntingdon 18th February 2017
1st xv v Huntingdon 18th February 2017
Old Buzzard Newsletter Issue 9
Old Buzzard Newsletter Issue 9
1st xv v Dronfield 11th February 2017
1st xv v Dronfield 11th February 2017

 

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DRAMATIC LAST-MINUTE SECURES BUZZARDS A VITAL BONUS POINT

MARKET RASEN AND LOUTH 47 – 24 LEIGHTON BUZZARD

In an extraordinary finish Leighton Buzzard scored two tries in the last minute of the game to secure a four-try bonus point and ensure the battle for league survival is still in their hands. This dramatic finale put a gloss on what was otherwise a poor second-half performance as Buzzards were well beaten by their Lincolnshire -based hosts.

On a hot and sunny afternoon, Buzzards chose to play with the benefit of a slight breeze. Leighton almost took the lead after three minutes when a Lee Walker penalty bounced off the posts. However,  eight minutes later, and following good play and ball retention through a number of phases, Wills Messum opened the scoring . The try was converted by Lee Walker to give Buzzards an early 7-0 lead.

Moments later, Leighton were unable to capitalise on a superb fifty metre break by Zak Tift but slowly the home side were becoming more dangerous. Whilst the Buzzard lineout was working well, the scrum was coming under increasing pressure from the Market Rasen forwards and, after twenty-three minutes the home side equalised the score with a converted try.

Five minutes later Buzzards retook the lead, perhaps slightly fortuitously. A Market Rasen kick was completely missed on halfway but the bounce took the ball away from the chasing home side and straight to Buzzard centre Mike Robert. He made good ground before delivering the try-scoring pass to Darren Braybrook. Once again the attempted kick bounced off the posts to leave Leighton 12-7 ahead.

Market Rasen hit back almost straightaway scoring an unconverted try two minutes later. There remained time for Buzzards to miss a straightforward penalty attempt so the half–time score was 12-12.

The second half started in disastrous fashion for Leighton – straight from the kickoff Market Rasen made a decisive break and, whilst this was eventually stopped, the re-cycled ball allowed the hosts to score under the posts. Less than a minute of the second half had been played. After a slightly disjointed first-half performance,  Market Rasen were now playing with speed and width. With only five minutes of the half completed, they scored another fine try. With both tries converted, the score was 26-12.

Despite securing limited possession and, with the home side looking almost constantly threatening, Leighton did have their moments; such as Arran Perry’s decisive break from inside his half resulting in Zak Tift being held up just short of the try line. However, Market Rasen were rampant and scored a further try from a lineout and another swift move brought a try in the corner. Both were converted to give Market Rasen a 40-12 lead. Their final try appeared to sum up Buzzards’ day  - an excellent break by captain Euan Irwin had got him to within 5 metres of the line – what would have been the try-scoring pass was intercepted for the home side to run the whole length of the pitch – 47-12.

Whilst knowing they had played poorly, this Buzzard side show considerable spirit in adversity. Finally, in the last minute of the game debutant second row, Owen Forsythe powered over to score. Realising that if they took the conversion there would be no time to restart the game, Leighton waived the opportunity to kick. As a result the game started for one final play. From deep in their own half the ball was transferred for Darren Braybrook to out-sprint the defence to score Buzzards’ fourth try and, in doing so, secure the bonus point.  Final Score 47-24.

Buzzards slip to eleventh but the last ditch bonus point means the continuing relegation battle remains in their hands.  With other results not going their way , Leighton will almost certainly need to win their final match, and possibly with a bonus point, at home to Melton Mowbray on April 22nd  to secure their position in Midlands 1 East. 

 

 

 

 

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SOLID DEFENCE THE KEY AS BUZZARDS WIN AGAIN

LEIGHTON BUZZARD 22 – 5 LUTTERWORTH

Leighton Buzzard’s good form continued with their fifth win from the last seven Midlands 1 East league games with a home victory over Lutterworth. Buzzard’s victory was based on opportunism on their rare attacks and solid defence against the visitors,  who dominated possession and territory for long periods of the second half.   

Having won the toss, Leighton chose to play downhill but against the wind. The initial phases were mostly in midfield and rather scrappy with neither side able to dominate. Finally a clean break by the Buzzard centres, Mike Robert and Euan Irwin, allowed the supporting Ollie Taylor to score under the posts. Taylor converted his own try to give Leighton a 7-0 lead after 13 minutes.

Whilst both sides had opportunities, the two defences dominated play, helped by a number of knock-ons in what appeared a nervy first-half. However with the last play of the half, man of the match, Ryan Fraser breached the Lutterworth defence with a typically barnstorming run. Whilst he was tackled just short, the ball was quickly recyled for Wills Messum to score in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed to leave the half-time score 12-0.

The second half started well for Leighton – choosing to take the scrum option from a penalty deep in the Lutterworth twenty-two, the ball was spread wide for winger Arran Perry to score and, by running round behind the posts, he made Ollie Taylor’s conversion more straightforward. Shortly afterwards, Lee Walker converted a long-range penalty to give Buzzards a 22-0 lead with half an hour to play.

Despite being well behind, the visitors, who are fifth in the league, raised their game. Backed by a large travelling support, much of the game was now played in the Buzzard half as the Lutterworth pack put considerable pressure on the Leighton scrum. However the home defence was committed and unbending as time and again Lutterworth threatened the line. Becoming increasingly frustrated, Lutterworth conceded a number of penalties, allowing Leighton to clear, but ultimately the pressure told with a fine try in the corner. The attempted conversion unluckily hit the post to leave the final score 22-5.

The victory moves Buzzards up to eighth, five points and four places above the final relegation place. With Ilkeston and Dronfield already relegated, six teams remain at risk for the final relegation place. Whilst it is in Leighton’s control, they still need six points from the final two games to be mathematically sure of retaining their Midlands 1 league place.

Next week Leighton make the long trip to ninth-placed Market Rasen and Louth. 

 

 

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BUZZARDS BONUS POINT WIN EASES RELEGATION FEARS

LEIGHTON BUZZARD 23-7 WELLINGBOROUGH

Leighton Buzzard secured a vital bonus point victory and in doing so, swopped places with opponents Wellingborough into tenth position in Midlands 1 East league. With both sides just outside the relegation places and having drawn their match earlier in the season,  the game was understandably tense and competitive throughout.

Having lost the toss, Leighton kicked off with the benefit of the slope and a strong breeze. From the first scrum, the Buzzard pack was dominant, driving the visitors backwards, although the wind made lineouts more difficult to control.  Whilst Leighton were dominating possession and territory, the concession of penalties was frustrating attempts to build concerted pressure.

Finally after fifteen minutes Buzzards opened the scoring with a well worked lineout move securing the try for Zak Tift in the corner. With the difficult conversion missed, Leighton led 5-0.

After a slow start, Wellingborough were coming more into the match. Realising that kicking against the wind was futile, they started to run the ball more, although rarely threatened the home side’s defence. Buzzards looked the more likely scorers and they believed they had their second try late in the half when full-back Ben Beaumont went over. The referee was the only person present who supposedly saw a knock on as the ball was grounded. More frustration was to follow- from the resulting scrum, Leighton won the ball against the head and were driving towards the line when they were inexplicably penalised for collapsing the scrum they were in control of, leaving the score at half-time 5-0.  

Now playing uphill and into the wind, the home support was concerned that a slender five point advantage was not substantial enough. However Buzzards’ ball retention and improved discipline allowed pressure to build and, after a number of phases, Wills Messum scored in the corner. Lee Walker’s attempted conversion unluckily hit the bar to leave Leighton 10-0 ahead.

Straight from the kick off, Buzzards were back on the attack – Ryan Fraser made the decisive break for Ben Beaumont to cross the line. Again the difficult conversion was missed leaving Leighton 15-0 ahead with twenty- five minutes left.

Wellingborough remained competitive despite the control of the Buzzard pack and,   following a penalty in midfield, the visitors managed to pin Leighton in the corner. After a succession of forward drives the ball was spun out to the backs and, with a well- timed pass and excellent running angle, the Buzzard defence was finally split for a try under the posts. With twenty minutes left, the lead was cut to 15-7.

A Lee Walker penalty after thirty minutes eased the nerves and extended the lead to

18-7. Wellingborough’s large pack was now visibly tiring and Buzzards looked the more likely to score. It says much for the Leighton pack’s fitness and mobility that the decisive 50 metre break for the fourth try was a joint effort by fellow front-row players Greg Falcon and Jordan Cummings, who provided the opportunity for Ben Beaumont to score his second try.

With the four try bonus point secured, Leighton played out time to secure a vital win moving them to tenth and six points clear of the final relegation place.

Next week Buzzards welcome fifth-placed Lutterworth to Wright’s Meadow. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Former Captain Ivor Prewett last week. Ivor passed peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday. Ivor was club captian in 1950/51 season and was instrumental in re starting the club after the war.

Funeral will be at All Saints Church on Tuesday 28th March at 2:15 and then to the rugby club to help celebrate Ivor's life.

 

 

 

Our thoughts of all Leighton Buzzard Rugby Club  with  the family at this sad time.

 

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BUZZARDS OVERWHELMED BY KETTERING POWER DISPLAY

KETTERING 68-8 LEIGHTON BUZZARD

Leighton Buzzard experienced the difference between the top and bottom of Midlands 1 East in successive weeks – having comfortably beaten bottom side Ilkeston last week, the Buzzards were blown away by the power of promotion-chasing Kettering. They may be only second in the league but were, without doubt, the strongest team Buzzards have played this season.

Leighton had made an encouraging start but loss of possession allowed Kettering to force a five-metre scrum. The immediate danger was cleared to touch but the large home team pack drove over from the resulting lineout for their first try after six minutes. The Kettering fly-half, who successfully kicked nine of his ten attempts at goal during the match, converted impressively from the touchline.

Slowly the home team were building pressure- their large pack was providing good possession for their speedy and skilful back line who took every opportunity to spread the ball wide. The Buzzard’s cause was not helped by a misfiring lineout but the defence was solid. Full back Ben Beaumont, whose defensive tackling was exceptional all afternoon, saved what appeared to be a certain try in the corner with a spectacular last-ditch tackle.

Ultimately the pressure told - whilst the initial defence was good, the Buzzard alignment on recycled ball was too narrow, as Kettering scored their second try after 21 minutes.

Straight from the kick-off Buzzards attacked through Ryan Fraser and Euan Irwin, before an excellent break by Geoff Branwhite was held up a metre short. Kettering were penalised at the ensuing ruck and fly half Lee Walker kicked the penalty to leave Leighton 14-3 behind after 26 minutes.

Kettering’s response was almost instantaneous – their big forwards and fast backs combined to score an exceptional try and, as half-time approached, scored a fourth try following a lineout. With both tries converted Buzzards trailed 28-3 at the break.

Leighton started the second half well with strong running putting the home side under a rare period of pressure.  Finally Buzzards got their reward with a fine move from a lineout allowing Zak Tift to score after 9 minutes. The touchline conversion was missed, leaving the score 28-8.

Buzzards continued to attack but a dropped pass was kicked through by the home side, who then won the kick and chase to score a rather fortuitous try. Apparently inspired by their good fortune, Kettering returned to their best form scoring an excellent try in the corner after 17 minutes and a further try five minutes later. With both converted, the home side led 49-8.

As Leighton visibly tired from the physical effort and Kettering hit a rich vein of form, the floodgates almost inevitably opened, with three further tries conceded in the last 10 minutes, leaving the final score 68-8.

With other results going their way, Leighton remain 11th and outside the relegation zone. After a week off, the Buzzards welcome Wellingborough on March 25th.

 

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BONUS POINT VICTORY MOVES BUZZARDS OUT OF THE RELEGATION PLACES

LEIGHTON BUZZARD 48- 7 ILKESTON

A convincing six-try first half performance was the basis of the Buzzard victory against bottom side Ilkeston. Additionally by securing a bonus point, Leighton moved out of the relegation places.

Having won the toss, Captain Euan Irwin chose to play uphill but with the benefit of the cross wind.  Straight from the kick–off Leighton played their driving game with powerful running from the forwards and good ball retention providing continuity through the phases. It took only three minutes for flanker Adam Stacey to score the opening try as the pack drove over the line. Geoff Branwhite converted from the touchline. Five minutes later similar driving play provided the opening for Branwhite, playing at scrum half for the first time this season, to score the second try. With the conversion Buzzards led 14-0.

With such an encouraging start, Leighton slightly relaxed allowing Ilkeston to be more competitive before a fourteen minute, four try burst effectively sealed the result. Firstly, M&M Estate Agents man of the match,Zak Tift made the decisive break and, with a dexterous off-load, gave the try-scoring pass for Adam Stacey to collect his second try. Straight from the kick-off, Ryan Fraser drove fifty metres into the Ilkeston twenty-two area - whilst the ball was cleared into touch, a clever move from the resulting lineout allowed Fraser to touch down.

Five minutes later good handling skills allowed full back Ben Beaumont to add his name to the try scorers list and, with the last play of the half, Mike Lynch also scored to leave the score 36-0 at the break.

With the game effectively won, Buzzards started the second half in a lacklustle manner. Credit is also due to Ilkeston, who despite their near-hopeless position, played with considerable spirit and determination.  As a result, it was almost half- way through the half before Leighton added to their score – replacement scrum half Jordan Marshall made the decisive break and delivered the try-scoring pass to winger Ollie Taylor. Geoff Branwhite added the conversion to put the Buzzards 43-0 ahead.

Ilkeston were now running their limited possession with increased intent; following a good break and quick hands a last-ditch high tackle prevented a score so the referee correctly awarded a penalty try. With the conversion of the consolation try, the score was 43-7. Perhaps irritated by conceding and almost straight from the kick-off, Euan Irwin intercepted a pass to score Leighton’s eighth try of the afternoon.

The remaining fifteen minutes were played out mostly in midfield leaving the final score 48-7.

Leighton move up to eleventh place with 43 points – a total that would have ensured survival comfortably last year. However with only seven points separating seventh to twelfth place, Buzzards know they must keep picking up points in a very tight league. Next week they travel to second-placed Kettering.

 

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BUZZARDS PAY THE PENALTY – HUNTINGDON 29 – 22 LEIGHTON BUZZARD

 

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Despite outscoring their mid-table opponents by three tries to two, Leighton Buzzard had to settle for a losing bonus point as their indiscipline cost them dearly in their latest Midlands 1 East game away at Huntingdon.

The Buzzards had kicked off playing into the wind and quickly their scrum was in the ascendency. Early pressure gave Geoff Branwhite the opportunity to take the lead, 0-3, with a straightforward penalty after only five minutes.  Huntingdon missed the chance to draw level after 12 minutes when a long range penalty drifted wide – the only kick the home team fly-half missed all afternoon.

Leighton increased the lead after 15 minutes. Having being awarded a penalty on halfway, Euan Irwin took a quick tap and shrugging off numerous attempted tackles bulldozed his way to the line for a fine individual try. With Branwhite’s conversion Buzzards were 0-10 ahead.

The ten point lead lasted only three minutes as Huntingdon scored their first try under the posts making the conversion a formality. The home side then levelled the score with their first successful penalty kick after 26 minutes after Leighton were adjudged not to have released in the tackle. Further penalties in the 30th and 35th minutes for a high tackle and not rolling away were converted to give Huntingdon a 16-10 lead. 

With the last play of the half Buzzards excellent handling in the backs allowed Ollie Taylor to score in the corner.  With the difficult conversion missed, Buzzards trailed 16-15 at half time.

Now with the advantage of the wind, Buzzards were confident that the smallest of deficits could be turned round. However the half could hardly have started worse – Captain Euan Irwin’s kick was charged down and in trying to make up for his error impeded a Huntingdon player. Irwin was shown a yellow card and the penalty was converted to extend the home team’s lead 19-15.

Buzzards appeared motivated by this setback and played some of their best rugby of the game in the next few minutes. The scrum was looking solid and whilst the lineout was not functioning as well as in previous matches,  pressure was being built through phases of play. Unfortunately they were unable to add to their score and it was Huntingdon who, rather fortuitously, scored next.  A loose ball was hacked through and the home side won the chase to touch down – with the successful conversion, Buzzards now trailed 26-15. A further home team penalty, the fifth of the game extended the lead to 29-15 with twenty minutes left.

Once again, Leighton tried to lift their performance. Despite Adam Stacey being harshly yellow carded with 10 minutes left, it was the Buzzards who finished stronger. An excellent back move had put Arran Perry almost clear and once in the Huntingdon twenty-two, the pack were putting pressure on the home side’ s forwards. Finally the line was breached with Dan Baroux scoring near the posts which with Geoff Branwhite’s conversion made the score 29-22 with two minutes left.

Almost straight from the kick off, Leighton attacked and came close to a final try that would have given them the chance to draw the game and get a four-try bonus point. Unfortunately they were held up just short so had to settle for a single losing bonus point.

Buzzards are now level on points with 11th placed side Northampton Old Scouts but remain twelfth having won fewer games. Leighton’s next league game is in two weeks when they welcome bottom side Ilkeston to Wright’s Meadow.

 

Leighton Buzzard Bench poised to leap into action. The youth Policy is working

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BRANWHITE HOLDS NERVE TO SECURE LAST MINUTE BUZZARD VICTORY

LEIGHTON BUZZARD 18- 15 DRONFIELD

Utility back Geoff Branwhite was the Buzzard’s hero as his penalty secured the victory in dramatic style with the last kick of the game. Opponents, Dronfield, who had made the long journey from North Derbyshire, had led for much of the game including by 7 points just eight minutes from the end of the match.

The visitors kick off on a bitterly cold afternoon that was to make handling difficult throughout. Buzzards had chosen to play with the advantage of the slope and cross-wind and were confident of making early inroads against a team they had beaten convincingly earlier in the season.  

After ten minutes winger Darren Braybrook jinked past his opposite number to score the opening try by the corner flag. The difficult conversion was missed to leave the home side 5-0 ahead. However, following this bright start, things were not going to plan and Dronfield pulled three points back with a penalty. Worse was to follow; 20 minutes into the half Buzzards conceded possession in their own 22 metre area and the visitors swiftly transferred the ball wide for their winger to score a fine try. The difficult conversion was missed to leave Leighton trailing 5-8, which remained the score at half-time.

Whilst Buzzards did have opportunities, with Captain Euan Irwin coming closest to scoring, this was a disjointed first-half performance with poor kicking and misplaced passes.

Now playing uphill the Buzzards realized they had to up the intensity and stick to their game plan. The second half started well with good pressure and whilst they were unable to cross the line, a Geoff Branwhite penalty levelled the score at 8-8, 10 minutes into the half.

Instead of taking control, it was the visitors who scored next, slightly against the run of play, after 16 minutes. The Dronfield fly-half made an excellent break leading to their second try and, following a conversion from near the touch line, an 8-15 lead. Understandably encouraged by this, the visitors managed to control possession and keep Buzzard attacks at bay for the next 15 minutes.

However, the Buzzard dominance in the scrum was slowly having an effect and pressurising the Dronfield defence. With less than ten minutes remaining, Ryan Fraser forced his way over the try line but the referee was unsighted and adjudged he had been held up. Buzzards were not to be denied for long – from the resulting scrum, the pack drove over, allowing number 8, Wills Messum,  to touch down. The kick was not straightforward, especially with the scores so close but Geoff Branwhite nervelessly added the conversion to level the scores at 15-15.

With Leighton’s precarious position in the league this was very much a “must win” game and once again the pack drove forward- a rolling maul being stopped just short. Finally a penalty was awarded, 20 metres out but closer to touch than the posts. The referee announced it was the final play of the game and to large cheers from the home crowd Branwhite produced his dramatic denouement.

Buzzards remain twelfth but within 3 points of ninth place. Next week Leighton travel to fifth-placed Huntingdon looking to repeat their early season victory. 

 

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